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Renewable energy production up 1/5 on year in Q3

Estonian news - eteap October 17, 2018

Baltic News Service. 17th of October, 2018

Estonian power plants produced altogether 402 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of renewable energy in the third quarter of 2018, approximately a fifth more than in the same period the year before.

Renewable energy made up 19 percent of the total amount of electric energy consumed in Estonia in the third quarter, the transmission system operator Elering said. Estonia’s target for renewable energy for 2018 is 16.1 percent. Renewable energy made up 16.3 percent of consumption across the first three quarters of the year.

The increase in the amount and share of renewable energy year over year was caused foremost by an increase in the volume of wind energy, which made up 36 percent of Estonia’s total renewable energy output in the third quarter, and the 143 GWh produced is more than 10 percent more compared to the third quarter of last year, Elering said.

The wind energy subsidy paid out by Elering in the first nine months of the year totaled 17.4 million euros, 35 percent less than during the same period last year. The subsidy was paid on 82 percent of the total amount of wind energy generated during the third quarter and the subsidy totaled 6.3 million euros. Altogether 56 percent of the sum total earmarked for wind energy subsidies for the whole year was paid out during the nine months.

In the third quarter 63 percent of the renewable electric energy produced in Estonia was produced from biomass, biogas and waste. In all 253 GWh of electricity was produced from these sources in the three months, a quarter more than in the third quarter of 2017.

Electricity produced from biomass, biogas and waste received 14 million euros in subsidies during the third quarter of 2018, while 38 million euros in subsidy has been paid out in the first nine months of the year.

Due to a relatively small average amount of rainfall, only one GWh of hydro energy was produced during the quarter and 33,380 euros was paid out in subsidies on hydro energy.

The number of subsidized solar panel owners is continuing to increase quickly, and the amount of solar energy transferred to the grid in the three months totaled five GWh. Thanks to additional solar panels, this indicator has increased more than threefold compared to last year. According to the weather service, there were also more hours of sunshine this year than the year before.

Since most of the solar energy generated in Estonia is consumed by the micro-producers themselves, the amount actually generated with solar panels is estimated to be 4-5 times the amount qualifying for subsidy.

During the quarter, Elering paid high-efficiency cogeneration support in the amount of 116,000 euros, approximately 75 percent less than in the same quarter of 2017 due to warm weather and small heat load. Altogether four GWh of electric energy was produced in the high-efficiency cogeneration regime.

Renewable energy subsidy and high-efficiency cogeneration support is financed by the electricity consumers through the renewable energy charge. During the quarter, Elering collected altogether 15.4 million euros of renewable energy charge and paid out 20.3 million euros in subsidies.

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